Dana Talks Diaz’s Return, Poirier vs McGregor, Khabib, His War On Piracy
UFC is set to begin its 2021 season with a triple header on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
UFC Fight Island 7, the first of the three events, will be headlined by top six featherweights Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar on January 16th, followed by UFC Fight Island 8 on January 20th, where top ten welterweights Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny are going to battle to move a step closer to the title. And at UFC 257 on January 23rd, top lightweights Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor will lock horns in a rematch for the ages.
With three stacked cards, the UFC is starting the year with a bang, but president Dana White has even bigger plans for the future, that include Nate Diaz.
Nate Diaz’s Return
Diaz hasn’t fought since his UFC 244 loss to Jorge Masvidal in November 2019. Speaking to The Mac Life, Dana revealed that the UFC is working on his comeback fight at lightweight. He however didn’t name his possible opponent.
“We’re working on a Nate Diaz fight right now, and it’s not Tony [Ferguson],” Dana said. “But if we get it done, I think you’re going to like it. … Let’s see if we can get this fight done, but it would put him in a really good position if he won the fight. And the guy who he could potentially be fighting, I think it’s a great fight for him too.”
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor
Ahead of their rematch at UFC 257, both Poirier and McGregor are oozing with confidence, and Dana is excited to see both the competitors in the right head space.
“Conor’s been saying that ‘Get ready for some spectacular things on Saturday’ and I believe every word of it,” Dana declared. “And what excites me is, Dustin Poirier is saying that ‘If you believe I am the same guy as before, [then you’re mistaken]. Both of these guys are in the right place for this fight, and I believe it’s going to be great.
“I think a lot of people, especially early on when we announced this fight, are completely overlooking Dustin. And I think he feels that, and the more the fight gets closer, I think he’s letting everybody know that ‘I am definitely not the same guy, and you are not going to see the same fight’. Yet on the flip side, you’re hearing Conor telling us all we’re going to see something. My point is, both of these guys are in the right place for this fight.”
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired from MMA after successfully defending his title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, is set to meet Dana in Abu Dhabi this month to talk about his fighting future. While the UFC president didn’t disclose many details about his planned meeting, he did reveal that it is going to be a quick one.
“There’s not going be a pitch. There’s going to be a five minute conversation,” Dana revealed. “When he fought the last time, and we were here, he was hurt, emotional, you know, the stuff that guy had to face leading up to that fight is crazy. And the way he performed under that type of pressure, physically and emotionally, it’s so badass. He’s had plenty of time off, plenty of time to think, plenty of time to talk to family members, digest all of this, and get healthy. So, it’s going to be a real quick conversation.”
Action Against Piracy
The UFC has incurred massive losses due to internet piracy of its copyrighted content throughout the years, and the promotion is aggressively pursuing the miscreants, Dana revealed. Adding that while he understands that he won’t be able to put an end to piracy, the UFC chief is looking to catch at least a few of the offenders.
“We’ve been one of the leagues that has been so proactive on piracy,” Dana said. “I love how cool and tough this guys act on social media because let me tell you what, we’ve caught a lot of people. Let me tell you what they do: they cry. They cry and they beg not to be prosecuted and all this other stuff. We just overcame a huge hurdle in the piracy world and we’re going to catch some of these guys in 2021, and I look forward to the crying and the begging. We’ll see how tough they are when they get caught.
“They’re never all going to go away. They’re going to be out there, and we’re not trying to get rid of all of them. I just want to catch a few. That’s all I’m looking for. You can’t shut the whole thing down, that piracy industry is going to go on forever. Let me catch a few and watch what happens — and I will, oh it’s coming!”
What do you think about Nate Diaz’s return, Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 2, and Dana White’s meeting with Khabib Nurmagomedov?